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Other terrific off-beach snorkeling other than West Bay....

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West Palm Beach...
posts: 314
reviews: 16
Other terrific off-beach snorkeling other than West Bay....

We love to snorkel off the beach, but don't want to have to deal with hordes of cruise ship passengers every day. Are there other rentals/resorts/areas with great off the beach snorkeling other than West Bay Beach?

Thanks.

Pat

1. Re: Other terrific off-beach snorkeling other than West Bay....

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Tucson, Arizona
posts: 3,283
reviews: 21
2. Re: Other terrific off-beach snorkeling other than West Bay....

GaiaSis, talking about cruise ships. I saw a schedule somewhere and it doesn't look like more than one cruise ship a week comes in the end of Sept, first of October. Does this sound right to you?

Honestly, I don't mind the cruise ship folks. They are usually pretty friendly and happy to be seeing the sites of wherever they are. If the crowds bother you, you know they will only be around for a few hours and you can always just head to the other end of the beach .

Roatan, Honduras
posts: 283
3. Re: Other terrific off-beach snorkeling other than West Bay....

Traciedee, I’m not sure what end of the beach to which you are referring. Is it at the end that is privately owned with the signs “Private Property’, Don’t Stand on the Reef” where the owner does not rake up the sea weed after a storm so that it may keep people away? This is where those go who will not pay to go to a place that has rest rooms, showers, and other services built into the price. I usually do not see many of them east of Fosters..

Yes, once a week and soon down to once every other week, I think, until October.

By in large I find their delight with West Bay a true reminder of just how fortunate I am to live in such a beautiful and alive place. The crux of the matter is that we want to keep it beautiful and alive and that beauty goes deeper than the baby powder sand beach that is so fresh and clean in the mornings before the arrival of the ships. After the departure, I can tell you if it was a Carnival ship by the amount of trash, which on occasion has exceeded Good Friday or Labor Day. This is trash that is primarily generated through sales by freelance beach vendors who, like the end user, do not take responsibility for its removal.

Because of this disregard of beer bottles turning into broken glass means and disregard of posted signs in English stating ‘Do not stand on the reef’, or ‘Private Property’, I doubt that any educational effort made on board the ship as to how easily coral is killed would have much impact either. None the less, the cruise lines should have that small amount of responsibility. I think that there are few people other than divers who know that it just takes one touch to kill the brain coral.

with far superior waste treatment infrastructure than is on Roatan.

Management of the many of the resorts wised up to the fact that their guests are negatively impacted by the arrival of the groups with the independent tour guides and have asked them to stop bringing people. They are also realizing that impact is very negative to what is at the essence of the value of their resorts. Best of all there are more destinations opening around the island that cater to the cruise ship visitor. These other locations are more accessible by the people on the island who want the cruise ship business and work.

My concern is not with the visitor but the sustainability of the environment that attracts visitors. Also, I think there is a lot of invalid bad press about West Bay and the cruise ships created by competition.

Tucson, Arizona
posts: 3,283
reviews: 21
4. Re: Other terrific off-beach snorkeling other than West Bay....

Gee, it was just a figure of speech..did not mean to push your buttons. Only meant that if you want to get away from the cuise ship groups you can usually do so as they generally seem to stick together in groups where they are dropped off. Wasn't meant as a political or envoromental comment.

We travel someplace different each year to dive and many folks seem to have really neagtive feelings about people from the cruise ships. I don't, that's all. Guess I better be careful about my comments.

Montgomery Alabama
posts: 141
reviews: 1
5. Re: Other terrific off-beach snorkeling other than West Bay....

There is great snorkeling all around the Island, if you stay anywhere with water access you should be happy as long as general carribean snorkeling is what you expect, West bay is extremely easy but there is much better snorkeling in areas not as popular or without the popular pubic access. As for cruise ship people. The most touristy area for the cruise ship peoples are West Bay and it is not the owners fault that the beach gets littered and the reef trampled. Just a few years ago all beer bottles were deposit and there were few glass bottles but they have done away with that. You will now encounter many beer bottles while snorkeling as well as see hundreds or thousands of the white and pink striped plastic grocery bags and many many "sun" water bottles. The more touristy places do clean these up daily from the beach but not underwater, but then they get brought to the dump which is waterfront and then they float again back down the shore. This would be a much nicer place, as would most of the world if plastic had not been invented.

West Palm Beach...
posts: 314
reviews: 16
6. Re: Other terrific off-beach snorkeling other than West Bay....

Roatanbob,

Would you elaborate on your statement, "West bay is extremely easy but there is much better snorkeling in areas not as popular or without the popular pubic access." As I will have a vehicle, I could visit out of the way places and would love some tips. Or, is it via boat to get to the best snorkeling? If this is the case, can anyone tell me what dive operation in West Bay is best dealing with snorkelers and how much do they charge? Thanks.

Tacoma
posts: 5
7. Re: Other terrific off-beach snorkeling other than West Bay....

We recently returned from a snorkeling and diving trip to Roatan.

I was also interested in shore snorkeling excursions.

We stayed on a beach located in Sandy Bay just off of a dive site found on the map which I have included a link to. The site is called "The Pillar Corral".

My wife and I spent hours exploring the reef here as it was easily reached by wading.

http://www.westbayvillage.com/divemap.htm

Roatan, Honduras
posts: 283
8. Re: Other terrific off-beach snorkeling other than West Bay....

First, all beaches technically are public so many meters from waters edge. Second, access to West Bay has become less and less public and probably will continue to do so. Recently the property owners around the access road where I live has put in place a gate and 24 hour guard so that vehicle traffic is limited to guests and owners. I expect the other access road to become limited to public pedistrian traffic in the near future as well. So then the taxi and bus access will be limited to those resorts that invite the cruise ship tourists.

Foremost, I snorkel the reef by West Bay regularly and I take a bag along for trash when I do. I have not found that much of late. After Semana Santa, we have a clean up day were the dive shops provide free tanks for divers and owners of boats provide those to assist. We have a boat and use it to dive reefs on the south side and north side. All of them offer something different. But for easy access to lots of variety, I have not found anything that surpasses West Bay with the most current inspection done last week.

RoatanBob, I agree that the non deposit beer bottles are a concern along with the plastic. The government has just instituted a requirement that the companies providing products in plastic be responsible for removal of it from the island. Yes, it remains to be seen how well that is carried out.

Grimsby, Canada
posts: 2,250
reviews: 2
9. Re: Other terrific off-beach snorkeling other than West Bay....

Hi,

We stayed at Fantasy Island and the snorkeling was fantastic! There is a gazebo that you jump into and it's like jumping into an aquarium. We walked out of our room which was on the beach and started snorkeling right there. We spent hours in the water. The last day we were there a diver told us about reef wall halfway between FI and Cocoview resort....wow... is all I can say. Wish we would have discovered it sooner. (something to look forward to next year)

FI is close to the French Harbour....people on this forum call it remote...and compared to West End etc. it is but Roatan isn't that big....we did alot of exploring...and loved the location. FI is all-inclusive and if that's not what you want, you could check out Cocoview....same snorkeling, same location....

Oregon
posts: 8
10. Re: Other terrific off-beach snorkeling other than West Bay....

Patlynn,

To answer your question on the best snorkeling. You should try CoCo View resort. It is on the opposite side of the island (south side) as West Bay. The reef is a mere 110 ft from shore. But you don't even have to get to get all the way to the reef before you see eagle rays feeding in the grass. There is a 140ft ship wreck siting in 40 ft of water, there has also been a huge fish ball with enormous grouper feeding on them. The shore snorkeling is awesome.

Now I have never snorkeled on the North side so I can't really compare the two for you. The resort is water access only so you would want to contact the resort ahead of time to arrange for the water taxi to pick you up at CoCo View Landing. You can also get directions from them as well. Check out there website at cocoviewresort.com.

We visit CoCo View twice a year and I only snorkel and the ease is great and there aren't any crowds at all. There aren't usually too many people who aren't guests that visit CCV. The resort usually has between 75 - 100 guests but during the day they are all out diving. You have the resort to yourself. They resort probably charges you a fee to snorkel since you aren't a guest. If plan ahead you can probably schedule a whole day there and even buy your lunch.

Contact Roatan Charters or the resort itself and talk to them. I'm sure they have something in place for day visits. Snorkelers are also welcome out on the dive boats ( at least if you stay at the resort) which is cool. The afternoon dives sites are usually shallow enough for great snorkeling. Inquire about that as well. I have also heard that Spooky Channel at Bay Islands Beach Resort has similar snorkeling they charge you $5 to snorkel I believe. Below is contact info for CoCo View Resort if your interested.

Roatan Charters

PO Box 877

San Antonio, FL. 33576

Reservations and Information

Toll Free: 1-800-510-8164

Local: 352-588-3084

Fax: 352-588-4158

Email: ccv@roatan.com

Honduras

011-504-9-911-7371

Email: ccv@cocoviewresort.com

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